“The most important thing is to try and inspire people so that they can be great at whatever they want to do.” ~Kobe Bryant
When I watch and listen to the outpouring of love and admiration for Kobe, I’m deeply touched. He is a phenomenal example of a person who has dedicated an astonishing amount of time, energy, focus and determination to developing, mastering and turning his natural talents (and some say marginal in basketball initially) into not only his strengths but his Superpowers.
The real reason I say he is a true STRENGTHS HERO though, is because he also dedicated himself to inspiring others to bring out their greatness.
It seems though that his true natural talents were not his athletic prowess but his legendary work ethic and passion for learning and studying how to play smarter.
In long-time Lakers head trainer Gary Vitti’s book, he writes quite a bit about Kobe and specifically about where his success came from.
“He was talented, but what if I told you he wasn’t the most talented guy out there?” Vitti says on the podcast. “I’m telling you, and I’ve had them all, there’s nothing really special about Kobe. I mean he’s a big guy, but he’s not that big. He was quick, but he’s not that quick. He’s fast, he wasn’t that fast. He was powerful, but he wasn’t that powerful. I mean, there were other players that had more talent than he did, so what was there about him that more talented players had zero rings and he ended up with five?”
Bryant not only worked harder than anyone else, he worked smarter than everyone else, and he was intellectually brilliant at his job, Vitti says. During halftime, when other players looked at messages, emails, and tweets on their phones, Bryant watched film from the first half of the game on a laptop in the training room to see how he could do better in the second half. The superstar athlete himself has attributed his past progress on the court to an intense work ethic and obsessively studying other players.
“He was tough in the sense that he took ‘can’t’ and ‘won’t’ out of his lexicon and he just believed that he could do it,” Vitti says. “Kobe taught me that talent is the most overrated thing in life; it’s what you do with your talent.
Ultimately, Kobe Bryant set out to be the best version of himself.
"I don’t want to be the next Michael Jordan, I only want to be Kobe Bryant."